Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free trial today! Click here

Accident Case Study: High Aspirations

On a hot summer afternoon, July 25, 2020, the pilot of a normally aspirated Cherokee Lance departs in high density altitude—a decision with tragic results.

On a hot summer afternoon, July 25, 2020, the pilot of N7677C—a normally aspirated Piper PA 32 Cherokee Lance—gets ready to depart South Valley Regional Airport, a small nontowered airport just southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. The pilot has planned a cross-country flight to Page, Arizona, and then a sightseeing flight over the Grand Canyon—a treat to cap his family’s Utah vacation.

Join the AOPA Air Safety Institute as we examine the circumstances that led to the tragic outcome of the flight just minutes after takeoff. We look at factors that would affect the flight, including high-density altitude conditions.

The Accident Case Study series uses FAA ATC radio communication transcripts, NTSB documentation, and video animation to recreate accidents and share critical lessons, so we can recognize and avoid similar mistakes.

AOPA Air Safety Institute staff

AOPA Air Safety Institute Staff members share a deep passion for aviation safety. As compassionate pilots, we bring together safety research, analysis, and knowledge in creative ways to share aviation safety education with you—with the ultimate goal of one day having zero fatal accidents in GA.

Related Articles